No, not smell that honeysuckle! or what a refreshing Coke! or you solved the equation for oxygen! As the only plants that manufactured air outsourced to Singapore, our breath burst, swarmed, burned, turned every vowel plosive, laughed a feral mongrel’s cough. When it vented verbs skyward, we exhaled jet fuel and ozone holes. When it ran low at grocery stores, the choice was paper or plastic bags for our faces. Autoerotic asphyxiation became a requirement for citizenship. Smoker’s rattle became a choir. Tracheotomies became a crime also known as doctors’ neckties. Children who heard curses like holy alveoli learned the meaning of double standard for repeating them. When bellows no longer sang names in lockup, the hacks pumped our lungs. We held our breath prisoner under shark-tank water, but it escaped, the feds said in the wind. We couldn’t sucker it with a hundred hundred vacuums. It phoned from inside the house to pant and moan, to taunt us, and we couldn’t utter goodbye without the voice it dangled. We couldn’t catch our breath again no matter how many strangular traps hangmen strung up in the rafters. Our last gasp wasn’t enough. Our last words were enough and rope, we all screamed.